Humans always been attracted to colors since ancient times Colors. The art of dyeing dates back various centuries, with many historical testimonies attached to it. Since Bronze age dyeing been practice in Europe. In India, proof of usage of dyes is found from the colored garments and traces of madder dye in remnants of the Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro civilization of 3500 BC. In Egypt, mummies were used to be wrapped in dyed fabrics (natural pigments). It was confirmed after investigation of red cloth obtained from the tomb of King Tutankhamen that the natural dye used for that purpose was a madder extract known as alizarin. The Maya and Aztec cultures of Central America were known to use cochineal dye and were well aware of dyes, such as madder, woad, Brazil wood, and indigo. While saffron was known to be used as early as 2500 BC (In bible Saffron referred as Henna. The Sh?s?-in text of 8th-century Japan mentions adzuki-bean cakes and colored soybeans.
In modern times health-conscious consumers provide negative appraisals of synthetic food dyes, and interest in natural coloring substitutes has increased. Colours from nature can be obtained from plants, minerals, microalgae, and pigment-producing microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and yeasts.
The natural food additives market has been growing with since high speed the last century due to the various hazards of artificial food additives and the potential benefits of active compounds.
Natural food colors are those of the dyes obtained from vegetables, animals or minerals, which are able to coloring food, drugs or cosmetics. The name 'natural food colors' stands correct as all these natural food colors are obtained by only using natural and organic products. Usually they are extracted from natural things like seeds, fruits, vegetables, leaves, insects, algae, etc.
One of the most important characteristics of the natural food colors is that they are safe to use as food additives. Since they are natural derivatives, they are free of side effects. They might be harmful to those who suffer from certain allergies and intolerances. But such allergies are usually individual problems and do not generalize. Natural food colors are popularly food additives that can be found in everyday consumption products.
Saffron is used in the food to give yellow dark yellow color and it is the native spice of Asia. It also comes with an excellent aroma that makes the food more delicious.
Turmeric is again a dark yellow colored powder that is made from the herb Curcuma longa. It also has many medicinal properties and used in India since long time. Today also every dish in India use turmeric.
Caramel food coloring is made by heating the carbohydrates at controlled temperature through the process of caramelization. This is somehow bitter in taste and has the odor of bitter sugar. It is used to give color to beer, brown breads, batter, cookies, chocolates, brandy, rum etc.
Betanin is red colored food dye that is obtained from beets. It is the food additive with E number as E162. Ice creams, soft drinks, beverages are the most common foods in which betanin is used as natural food coloring. It also acts as an antioxidant.
Paprika is obtained from the Capsicum annuum who dried fruit is grinded to get the paprika. The food coloring is used to color rice, soups, stews and other preparation of sausages.
Red sandal wood is blackish brown in color and gives dark red liquid when cut. Red sandal wood is a natural food color used in many kinds of food. Along with this it also has the anti-acne, and wound healing properties so it is extensively used as Ayurveda herb in India.
Since pure crocin has been able to produce saffron extracts with purity over 90%, we will give more attention to saffron and its natural color here:
Saffron /?sæfr?n/) is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the "saffron crocus". The vivid crimson stigmas and styles, called threads, are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and colouring agent in food. Saffron was long among the world's most costly spices by weight. Although some doubts remain on its origin, it is believed that saffron originated in Iran. However, Greeceand Mesopotamia have also been suggested as the possible region of origin of this plant. C. sativus is possibly a triploid form of Crocus cartwrightianus. Saffron crocus slowly propagated throughout much of Eurasia and was later brought to parts of North Africa, North America, and Oceania.
You can easily get natural yellow colour from saffron threads by following below steps:
Place some saffron threads in a glass bowl.
Add a few drops of water into the glass bowl.
See the excellent yellow color appearing in the water.
See the increase in the size of the saffron strands after a few minutes.
Keep the threads in the glass bowl for at least 1 hour to get the appropriate saffron yellow color.
Observe the deep yellow color.
We also would like you to know what the cause of this beautiful natural colour is:
Crocin is a carotenoid chemical compound that is found in the flowers crocus and gardenia. Crocin is the chemical primarily responsible for the color of saffron.
Chemically, crocin is the diester formed from the disaccharide gentiobiose and the dicarboxylic acid crocetin. When isolated as a pure chemical compound, it has a deep red color and forms crystals with a melting point of 186 °C. When dissolved in water, it forms an orange solution.
The term crocins may also refer to members of a series of related hydrophilic carotenoids that are either monoglycosyl or diglycosyl polyene esters of crocetin. The crocin underlying saffron's aroma is α-crocin (a carotenoid pigment that may comprise more than 10% of dry saffron's mass): trans-crocetin di-(β-D-gentiobiosyl) ester; it bears the systematic (IUPAC) name 8,8-diapo-8,8-carotenoic acid.
The major active component of saffron is the yellow pigment crocin 2 (three other derivatives with different glycosylation’s are known) containing a gentiobiose (disaccharide) group at each end of the molecule. The five major biologically active components of saffron, namely the four crocins and crocetin, can be measured with HPLC-UV.
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